Drawing both on examples from earlier chapters and on new material, this chapter evaluates the impact of censorship on GDR drama and theatre, historical developments in censorship practice, and patterns of cooperation and conflict. Whilst the diversification of controls led to a lack of transparency, it also enabled managers and directors to use their personal contacts to bypass the official lines of command. When high‐risk productions went ahead, it was often because theatre practitioners and officials had managed to forge alliances and share responsibility. The system penalized innovative directors and dramatists who were reluctant to negotiate; in order to win space for experimentation, they needed to find managers, dramaturges, or officials willing to negotiate on their behalf. The chapter ends by exploring the role that theatre practitioners played in autumn 1989, when theatres functioned as centres for political protest and ‐ briefly ‐ as a substitute for the GDR media.
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